The engine was a design by Ferdinand Porsche - a 6-cylinder inline light alloy motor with a displacement of 2255cc and an output of 70 hp. It was located in the front and drove the rear axle. With a weight of only 900kg, the Wanderer Stromlinie Spezial reached a maximum speed of 140 km/h - or 90 mph.
The long-distance Liege - Rome - Liege motor race was already regarded as the most severe non-stop reliability test of its kind. During the 'king of the rallies', as it was also known, the only permissible stops were for refuelling. The teams of drivers, who were obliged to maintain an average speed of at least 50 kilometres an hour despite the condition of the roads at that time, often sat behind the wheel for more than 100 hours without a break as they hurtled through the Ardennes and across the Alps and the Apennines.
This merciless challenge to man and machine took its toll: in 1938 only a third of the starters made it across the finishing line, in 1939 21 cars completed the course out of 51 starters.
In the second year of participation in the Liege - Rome - Liege run in 1939, Auto Union won the team award with their three entered Wanderer Streamline Specials.
For car restorer Werner Zinke, who delivered these attractively styled cars punctually after two years of reconstruction work, this was "the biggest challenge my company has ever had to face!" Zinke explains: "Apart from the wheelbase and track, I had no other reliable data at all. I had to base my work almost entirely on historic photographs."
After a series of computer calculations a wire model was first built, followed by a wooden buck; the sheet-metal panels were beaten by hand over leather sacks and passed through the 'English rollers' to draw out and shape them.
Werner Zinke expresses himself 'very satisfied" with the results. "The first test runs under power went off better than we had dared to hope!". His voice sounds rather wistful as he says: "The second world war prevented Auto Union from making sports cars based on these prototypes."
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